Huddleston Signs Alliance for Resilient Campuses

Huddleston Signs Alliance for Resilient Campuses

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

This week, President Mark W. Huddleston became a founding signatory to the new Alliance for Resilient Campuses, a network that focuses on climate adaptation and resilience. Huddleston joined 28 college presidents nationwide to launch this effort from the national nonprofit Second Nature, which also developed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. 

“UNH researchers are already national leaders in their work on climate change adaptation and preparedness,” Huddleston said. “This solidifies our commitment to tackle what scientists say will be major impacts of a changing climate by ensuring that our campus is prepared and that we take a leadership role in educating, collaborating, and coordinating our campus and community for the challenges to come.”  

“The ACUPCC has played an enormously influential role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and of embedding sustainability as an operating principle across higher education,” said David Hales, president of Second Nature. “At the same time, we recognize that there is an increasing likelihood of damaging climate impacts to many of our colleges. ARC will provide a platform for developing flexible and state-of-the-art guidance and support for assessment, learning, implementation, and evaluation with respect to adaptation and resilience, and will do so in full partnership with communities.”  

In the updated climate action plan called WildCAP (read the draft and make comments here), UNH’s Energy Task Force calls for an analysis of the climate impacts UNH is facing and a set of recommendations for how to address them. By signing the Alliance for Resilient Campuses, UNH commits to additional broad goals: 

                • Assess: Understand potential climate impacts in our region, and their consequences, and assess vulnerability in order to prioritize areas for adaptation, planning, and education both on campus and within our local communities.

                • Adapt: Begin to implement measures that increase our resilience and adaptive capacity. This may include considering changes in building and infrastructure development, energy and land management, food sources and water supply, transportation, and it will certainly include building strong economic and community partnerships.

                • Accelerate education and research: Improve our ability to meet societal information needs through integrated research, and provide climate and sustainability education in order to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

                • Collaborate and coordinate: Share successful strategies for vulnerability assessment, resilience planning, and educational initiatives with other committed campuses and communities.